Acupuncture Therapy is a system of complementary medicine that involves the skilled insertion of fine needles into specific areas of the body. It used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Acupuncture Therapy has it’s origins in ancient China and is now widely practiced in the West. More people in the world have been treated with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) than with western medicine.
There are many different styles of acupuncture although these can be divided into two groups: Traditional and class Biomedical.
Traditional: According to traditional Chinese medical theory, there are acupuncture points that are located on meridians through which qi vital energy flows. Like rivers, these meridians circulate the flow of qi throughout the body. Qi nourishes, supports, warms, and moves the body. Like a dam in a river, the flow of qi can become blocked in the meridians. Needling the acupuncture points allows the practitioner to clear these areas of reduced circulation in the body. Improving the flow of qi in the meridians creates health and vitality, reduction in pain, and feelings of well-being.
Acupuncture Therapy remains controversial among some Western medical doctors and scientists even though there is excellent research supporting that traditional acupuncture can be an effective treatment for many conditions.
Biomedical: Biomedical acupuncture, also called dry needling, is a more modern modality. It does not share any common foundation with traditional Chinese acupuncture. This system uses a western framework of biomedical principles like neuro-anatomically defined pathways and neuro-trigger point systems for treatment. It can be used for pain management, trauma rehabilitation, and can be helpful for health and stress management as well.
The western scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the perception of pain, or they will stimulate the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the bodys own internal regulating system. The improved balance produced by acupuncture stimulates the bodys natural healing abilities, and promotes physical and emotional well-being.
Combination: Many of the traditional acupuncture points and treatments have been proven effective over time. Combining biomedical acupuncture with traditional acupuncture therapy and modalities like cupping, guasha and e-stim creates powerful treatments for pain relief, functional improvement, and health and wellness.